The Beretta 1301 semi auto has an obvious military heritage but has now been adapted to meet the requirements of practical shotgun, a sporting discipline known as practical shooting which involves the competitor moving through simulated combat-style situations shooting at surprise targets. speed, agility and quick reactions are essential. Practical shooting is very popular in the united states and is rapidly growing here.
The Beretta 1301 was unveiled at last year’s CLA Game Fair where, unsurprisingly, it created a great deal of interest among gamekeepers and pest controllers thanks to its large capacity magazine which means it can only be held on a firearms certificate.
The 1301 comes with a magazine capacity for five cartridges plus one in the chamber as standard. There is the option of an extension in the form of a very long magazine cap which takes he capacity up to a whopping 9+1. The extension gives the gun a more eye-catching look as it finishes exactly flush with the 24in barrel’s muzzle end.
It holds 70mm cartridges, though it is actually chambered for 76mm (3in) shells and comes with only one choke – improved cylinder – but it prints excellent patterns thanks to the Optima bored barrel and Optima HP multi-choke system. The top rib is slightly raised to help keep a shooter’s head up and it also tapers from 10mm to 8mm to give better visibility and target acquisition. The barrel is finished with a red fibre optic- type sight.
Big, easy to locate, safety button and a large guard for a gloved trigger finger
The bolt handle, safety catch and bolt release buttons have been made bigger than normal to make the gun easier and faster to use, useful features for practical shooting where time is of the essence. Bigger buttons also come into their own for pest controllers, particularly when shooting at night, or with gloves.
Stock and fore-end
Moulded chequering on the stock and fore-end provides positive grip even when wet. The stock is quite short at only 13in reminding us what this gun was originally designed for, but for a gamekeeper who may need to take quick snap shots at night with heavy clothing on, it should come into its own. If required, there are two spacers, which add almost 40mm to the length of pull, bringing it to approximately 141⁄2in or a little less than 370mm. Beretta do a range of pads and spacers that can make the gun as long as necessary. There are also shims for adjusting cast and drop.
I am not really into military-type guns but I can see the appeal of something like this and it certainly will be a capable tool for the job. Large magazine guns are still popular for those with a need for them and I think this gun will create quite a bit of interest. The suggested retail price is £1,110 and the magazine extension kit to make it up to 10 shot is about another £100.
More details: From importers GMK Ltd, Fareham, Hants telephone 01489 587500